but of course, the goal is to eventually not have to cheat on them at all
And hence be able to do them at the gym (properly) without embarassment
Don't ever be embarassed about working out. You're doing the right thing.
Pavel Tastouline, kettlebell master, guru, whatever, in one of his books talked exactly about this. Pullups that is. He said if you want to do more pullups the thing to do is to do pullups. So first you may start doing assisted ones and gradually lighten the load until you can do them on your own.
Speaking of Pavel and pullups, I think in his book, The Naked Warrior
, he mentions that his father-in-law put a chinup bar in his basement with the rule that anytime he goes down there, he must
do 10 chinups. As a handyman, he went down there a lot. Eventually he went from doing a few to doing a lot.
The home doorway bar is great. They cost $20 - $30 depending on where you buy it. It's relaxing sometimes to just hang and stretch your back with it. Definitely worth the money.